The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 273
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purchased for a large refinery on deep water; they are also re-
flected in the acquisition of a bulk plant with five retail outlets,
even though they were only "small curb pumps in front of what
have been described as rundown wooden shacks" and in the con-
struction of a model retail station and a garage at Main, Travis
and Jefferson Streets in Houston, which at that time "boasted
only two real 'drive in' stations."
Less visible an accomplishment at that immediate time but of
ever increasing future importance was the company's first ven-
ture into oil technology and applied research by the starting of
a geological department. That geology was not thought too highly
of in some quarters at that time was evident when, after an ex-
pensive dry hole, an old time producer in a letter to a Humble
official "compared a certain young geologist to a pointer, sent to
hunt quail, which turned out to have a nose for chasin' butter-
flies and chippy bur-rds."
A major difficulty of the new company during the first two
years was the lack of capital for expansion, and the efforts to
secure such funds led eventually to the deal with Standard Oil
Company (New Jersey). It was during this period of fund seek-
ing that Farish, then in New York, communicated to Sterling,
"Had lunch today with the father of them all ... if you have
no objection I will talk to him further about it," and Sterling
replied "I don't give a continental damn if you get it from the
Czar of Russia or the Emperor of Germany, just so we have the
The Standard Oil Company transaction, which brought to-
gether a combination of eastern capital and practical experienced
oil men with considerable producing properties came opportunely
at the beginning of a long-term increasing demand for oil prod-
ucts, and it enabled Humble "to expand its production, build an
up-to-date refinery and a large pipe line and storage system, and
enter upon extensive purchasing of crude oil." What followed is
a matter of recorded history and the story of it is well told.
In locating favorable prospects for exploration and develop-
ment, Pratt used surface geology then supplemented it with sub-
surface studies and micropaleontology and later with geophysical
methods, and in drilling and producing operations, Suman
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/305/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.